Younes

Age: 24 years
From: Damascus, Syria

About me

“My life, as I can see it, is I have two lives; my life before March 2007 and my life and after March 2007. Before March 2007, I was a rigorous student, had dreams, I intended to continue studying and to start my life as a young man. But after 2007, this was changed and destroyed, and I’ve become another person to support other people.” 

Describing experiences of being imprisoned on four separate occasions

“When we went out, the officer told us, and it’s the words are still in my mind; ‘This is the freedom you asked for and when you get out if you keep asking for the freedom, you will get back here’.

“In Dec 16, 2011 they came and arrested me and my father together. They put us in the bus and started torturing us again.”

“They were coming every day to the house searching for me and for my brother”

“In December 2012, I decided to go to university, because I had an exam. My father warned me, he said, don’t go, if they find you they may go crazy and arrest you. I said, no I need to finish my studies. So I went to the university and was doing my exam. Some people came and they were from the air force intelligence and somebody told me that they were waiting for me to arrest me.”

Involvement with CARE International

“We started settling ourselves here in Jordan, making our house. Then in November, my friend came to me and started saying that there is a centre for CARE in Zirca. You could apply there for volunteering. I heard that this was a safe space; that they had an activities unit for children and adults. I was encouraged. This is the area I wanted to work in; education and supporting kids. This is why I am happy to have this opportunity. And I have been there for two months.

I’m just happy seeing children smiling, because for me, when I’m working with children and seeing the smiles on their faces, this is what makes me happy.

At CARE it is a very nice team; the staff and the volunteers. I feel very happy because I am amongst nice people also because CARE is supporting Syrian people this is what gives me satisfaction.

For me, when I help people, I forget. When I see a smile, I can forget. I love to help people and keeping myself busy”. 

What makes you smile?

“What makes me smile is when I see a child and instead of hunger, killing, fear, they are still going to school. This makes me feel that life is still going on”.

What is your idea of freedom

“Freedom for me is to live as a human being and to feel myself as an equal with other human beings. If I go to school, they go to school. If they have the freedom to speak, I will have the freedom to speak. I will have the freedom to express myself, to criticize someone just to have the freedom to say what I want to say. All what we asked for is freedom. It has been made too expensive to have...It is too expensive because we have paid in our lives”.

On having the opportunity to share his story

“I’m seizing this opportunity to give this idea to the world, because people within Syria are feeling sad because they are not feeling cared for by the world. They see what has happened, or not happened, but there is no support. So I am happy to have this opportunity”.